This Is The Healthiest Way Of Cooking Chicken, According To Nutritionists
Did you know? You can reap more benefits from an already lean chicken meat and it depends on how you cook it. Yes, You read it right! how you cook chicken meat can make a huge difference in how much fat and calories ends up in your plate. Here, nutritionists rank the healthiest way of cooking chicken meat - from best to worst.
Poaching - The Best
So, what’s the best way to cook chicken? Most of you would say frying is the way to go but i tell you it’s not! The healthiest and the best way according to nutritionists is Poaching. The same way with what you’re doing when poaching an egg -- it’s the best because you’re not using any ingredients aside from water; all you need is to bring the chicken to a boil over low heat until it’s cooked through.
Nutrition fact: You’ll have 120 calories with just 1.4 grams of fat, in a 4 oz of chicken cooked in this way.
The only downside of cooking this way is it ends up lacking in the flavor department but of course, there are ways to make it tastier without compromising the health value. On my end, I usually poach chicken in colder seasons and add in spices, veggies, and lots of fresh herbs.
Grilling - The Second Best
You might think grilling is a bad choice! But surprise...according to nutritionists, it's still a healthy option. It just boils down to what ingredients are you using. Their recommendation is to be mindful on adding additional fat when you're grilling. On my end, I use olive oil only -- it’s a plant based unsaturated fat.
Nutrition fact: One tbsp of oil has 14 grams of fat and 120 calories, and 1 tbsp of butter is 12 grams of fat and 100 calories.
With this in mind, be mindful of how much oil or butter you put in. It is recommended to use ½ tbsp or less. Another way to add flavor and make your grilled chicken tastier, without adding a lot of calories, is to marinate it ahead, and only use fresh herbs, spices, and vinegar.
Sautéing - Not That Bad
The same way with grilling, this method of cooking involves using oil (adding fats) to make sure your chicken meat doesn’t stick to the pan. The trick here to still make this a healthy method of cooking your chicken is to use a high quality non-stick pan. By sautéing chicken with a quality non-stick pan, you’re cutting down the fats (in the form of oil) you’re adding to cook the chicken in, and as long as you avoid adding cream or butter into it, you’ll end up having a healthy meal. Because of this reason, sautéing chicken on stove-top can still be considered as a healthy technique of cooking chicken. A tip -- if you want your chicken to still have that crispy skin or outer later, without adding lots of calories to your meal, you can first quickly sear the chicken on the stovetop over medium heat, then bake the chicken in the oven.
Frying - The Worst
You may already know this, but yeah frying is the worst way of cooking chicken. How bad it really is? Well, the form of cooking chicken in a pan full of oil introduces you to a lot of calories and fats and even a big serving of sodium.
Nutrition facts: Typical way of frying chicken, that is with oil and flour, gives you a whopping 16 grams of fat and more or less 320 calories. That means, 200 calories more than a poached chicken.
What if I still love fried chicken? Don’t worry there’s a fix for that. Nutritionists recommend using an agent like seltzer or baking soda in the batter. These agents can help reduce the oil that's being absorbed by food when frying. Try using mustard too instead of egg, flour, or buttermilk as coating for the chicken. This helps to cut down the overall fat and calories. Also, you can try to oven fry the chicken - that is by baking it under the broiler. This will give you the same level of crispiness you get from the typical fried chicken but without the extra fat that comes with it.